Inspire Directive (2007/2/EC) on INfrastructure for SPatial InfoRmation in the European Community aims to maximize the combining, sharing and re-use of geographical data from 34 environmentally-related themes, including transport.
Inspire does not require the collection of new data, but making existing data available according to the Inspire specifications and timeline. Consequently geographical railway data need to be in Inspire format by 2017!
The “Safety, Mobility, Sustainability….Powered by Inspire” conference was organised by the Cadastral and Land Register Agencies from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom and hosted by the European Union in Brussels on 4 and 5 March. The conference was attended by over 250 participants.
Both conference days started with a plenary session before breaking into parallel sessions according to the wide variety of different themes covered by the Inspire Directive. UIC was invited to open and provide key notes for the second conference day dedicated to business sectors as data providers and users.
Erika Nissi, UIC Senior Advisor, explained that railways need to comply with many EU initiatives such as Inspire, Register of Infrastructure, European Rail Freight Corridors, ERTMS….which all require data exchange at international level or with international players (such as ETCS suppliers). To avoid time-consuming data conversions from national format to numerous international data “usages”, several railways within the UIC ERIM activity seek to create the pre-conditions for a common data model and corresponding data exchange format for international use (this doesn’t prevent the use of national models!)
Knowing that a large amount of geographical data will become available in coming years and that data standardisation is urgently needed, Erika Nissi considered the Inspire framework very promising for railways. Not only can Inspire provide common foundations for railways’ own data standardisation, but it also provides access to other geographical data sets in terms of intermodal networks, soil composition, trackside vegetation, emergency management and planning of new railway lines with simulations of their economic impact.